The video was from the Sasquatch Music Festival at the Columbia Gorge (your old stomping grounds).
Yeah, the whole follower/following meme is rather insightful. It's the followers that make a movement. Nurturing them makes sense. Getting them involved is what brings about the change. If it's all about the leader, then nothing happens but if it is about them, then something happens.
There's a lesson in there for Obama. At some point, he failed to energize his followers. They got him elected then tuned out. But that's not the way it supposed to be. He (and Michelle Obama made this point in a speech back in February 2008 at UCLA just before Super Tuesday) was going to engage the American people, make them work. He hasn't. Poof, the movement petered out.
Well the argument that the Mongols ran out of steam is fair and no doubt the further west they went the more sedentary and established states they encountered. Even so the Mongols overran northern India, the Burmese empire and the Persians but failed to conquer Poland.
I didn't mention but it was a Polish army in 1685 that saved Europe when the Ottoman Turks were at the Gates of Vienna. Otherwise we might all be Muslims today.
Still, I think Paul Krugman is over doing the analogy. No doubt, Poland then faced and US now faces flawed institutional design. In Poland's case it led to the partition of the country. In our case, it is more likely to lead to a break-up.
That's what I get for writing this at 1:30 am after getting home from dancing.
You cite GDP growth under Reagan but what you fail to ask is how was that financed and who did it benefit. The Reagan boom wasn't a boom in productive assets but rather an aggrandizement of financial assets. And it sowed the seeds of what has become the national problem: a worrisome gap in social inequality.
I said national debt not annual budget deficits. There is a difference.Debt more than tripled from 900 billion dollars to 2.8 trillion dollars during Reagan's tenure.
And just for the record by tenure, the largest increases in gross debt relative to GDP occurred under George H.W. Bush (+11.2%), George W. Bush (+11.9%), and Ronald Reagan (+18.5%). Yeah, that's right our debt problem is largely the result of GOP administrations.
And to be fair to Ronald Reagan, he called the debt the "greatest disappointment" of his Presidency. So even your own hero was cognizant of his failings.